Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sassy Saturday: Tiza the reaper slayer

Sassy Saturday!  Every week will be an excerpt from one of my novels showcasing a kick-butt heroine. If you want read about the original blog hop the link is here.

The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Beware the Giant Fire Salamander

The context for this post: Gruffle has started his latest attempt on Eric's life. He's being more creative than usual and so Eric is unable to handle him or rely on Priestess (a.k.a. Annala). Someone else comes to his rescue.

At the top, Gruffle clapped sarcastically.

“Yes, yes, very impressive, but you forgot one thing; I’m still here!”

Then his head dropped from his shoulders and rolled across the ground. When the world stopped spinning, he confirmed that Priestess was still face down in the snow. The one who felled him was a warrior riding a funky-looking unicorn.

“I’ll finish him off, Tenderfoot,” Tiza said while dismounting. “You look after Dimwit.”

The unicorn nodded and jumped into the hole.

Wasting no words on trash talk, Tiza chambered her sword again. Runes buzzed along its blade and hilt. A magic circle formed beneath her. With one swing, she cut off the arm holding Gruffle’s scythe. It fell to the ground, twitching. Her third strike cut off his second arm.

“Stop that!” Gruffle’s head protested. “You can’t win a fight against death!”

Tiza cut the reaper’s body in half long ways and the pieces fell to either side. Then she sheathed her sword and unzipped a bag from around her waist. She sprinkled ashes over the reaper’s body and then struck a piece of fire-red stone against a piece of iron. The holy spark created a blaze that reduced the body to ashes. Then she mixed the ashes together and bottled them up. Only then did she say, “Ashes of a reaper.” She looked down on Gruffle. “I know a lot of mad scientists and mage freaks who would pay through the nose for this stuff.”

Gruffle shouted the harsh alien language that made the salamanders explode. Tiza leaned over and cupped a hand to her ear.

“Huh? You’ll have to speak up, Worm Stone. I can’t hear you over the sound of your constant failure.”

Veins bulged in Gruffle’s face and forehead. His lingering mortal mindset made them manifest in his anger. “My body will grow back, and when it does, I will kill you!”

“Judging by your ugly face, you’re threatening me with death. Well, you can’t. Know why? ‘Cause you’re a failure!

Gruffle’s scythe rattled and levitated. It chambered behind Tiza. “DIE!”

It swung and she ducked. Naturally, she’d seen it with her Third Eye. She dodged the second swing, sidestepped the third, and jumped over the fourth. She closed her physical eyes just to irritate Gruffle further.

“Fire Fossil must be mistaken. You can’t be a reaper. After all, no one sees death coming.” She opened her eyes. “Right?”

Gruffle’s eyes shone with deathly light and he increased the speed of his scythe. After the fourteenth swing, he got it stuck in the ground. Tiza pointed and laughed at him. It took three pulls for him to get it loose, and in that pause, Tiza brought out another device

It was small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, white in color with gold edging, and the words “Hariana Inquires” were etched into the underside. Depressing a button with her thumb triggered a grey beam and she drew a circle on the ground with it. When it was finished, she stepped into the circle. When Gruffle freed his scythe and swung at her again, she stepped out and took her thumb off the device’s button. The grey light cut off and the circle on the ground flashed.

 Its light climbed to the sky in the shape of a cylinder and it was one that the scythe found itself unable to leave. No matter how Gruffle commanded it, there was no escape. Tiza took a breath and then, just for fun, she shined the light into Gruffle’s eyes. He blinked and closed them.

 “Big Mouth made this one too,” Tiza said, jerking her head in Priestess’ direction. “She thought that if she could trap a reaper, then she could stop everyone from dying. As soon as she finished it, she considered it blasphemous to Lady Chaos and never used it.” She pocketed the device. “I have no such problem.”

Transcending Limitations, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon as an ebook. The series is also available in Kindle Unlimited. The paperback format is available at Amazon and also at Createspace.

To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.

Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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